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P0341 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

Meaning

The P0341 code indicates that the Camshaft sensor is feeding a signal that’s out of normal values to the powertrain control module.

Causes

A P0341 code is typically caused by one, or a combination of, the following causes:

  1. A poorly performing battery, either dead or low in charge.
  2. An issue in the wiring harness / electric circuit between sensor and PCM. This could increase the impedance of the circuit as a whole, throwing the signal off.
  3. A defective starter motor
  4. The wiring from the sensor passing too close to the spark plug wiring (interferences)
  5. A defective camshaft position sensor

Note we mentioned the most obvious one as the last possible cause. Too many mechanics will be eager and quick to replace very expensive components to beef up their billables, but this may in turn not end up fixing the issue. Obviously, if you’re working in your own car, you want to start by removing any other possibilities from the equation before settling for replacing the sensor.

Symptoms

Typical symptoms for a p0341 code include:

  1. Check Engine Light present in dashboard and code in ECM memory (duh)
  2. Inconsistent power through the rpm range.
  3. Misfiring, engine jerk.

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the cause for a p0341 code, follow these steps:

  1. Check with a code reader or scanner to get all present codes here's a great one we use everyday
  2. If p0342 and or p0343 are also present, sensor is probably defunct.
  3. Clear all DTC codes anyway, and road test. If codes  and symptoms come back, continue down the list.
  4. Check your battery as usual. 12.7v / 13.7v to 14.7v (engine off / on). Discard a bad battery before driving yourself crazy testing the sensor or spending cash on a new one obviously.
  5. Perform a visual check of the wiring harness and connections to the sensor for any damaged wiring
  6. Plug out the sensor and check the resistance and voltage.  A brand-specific OBD2 scanner may have this data, otherwise you should be able to find it in Autodata or the car’s manual.
  7. Check for corrosion, bent pins…
  8. Check the sensor reluctor wheel for any damage.
  9. Replace the sensor.

Common mistakes

Typical mistakes some mechanics will commit when troubleshooting a p0341 code are:

  1. Not discarding the battery as a possibility first
  2. Not removing the sensor and looking for any possible pieces of metal adhered to it from the inside of the engine.
  3. Replacing the sensor with anything else than OEM parts.

How serious is this?

A P0341 is relatively serious, for starters you won’t pass emission tests with the Check Engine Light on, so that’s annoying. Then, misfiring, low MPG because of poor engine performance, stalling, and everything else we mentioned in the symptoms is probably beyond annoying.

But leaving it long enough so you end up breaking something more because of the continious jerking, misfiring, stalling at random points i.e. coming out of a red light and getting rammed in the tail… 

Yeah, have it checked, and have it fixed.

What repairs can fix the code?

The typical repairs that will take care of a p0341 are:

  • Changing the battery
  • Changing the wiring or connector for the sensor
  • Changing the sensor itself

Related codes

This code is sister to the P0342 and P0343, which are related to “low signal” and “high signal” (whilst tells us only that the sensor is “out of range”). If your car presents all three, it means the sensor’s reading is fully out of whack, which  would point more to an electrical issue (broken sensors tend to “break” at one position, but don’t discard too quickly)

Conclusion

As with most powertrain codes, you want to take care of this as soon as you see it. Make sure you’re using a good obd2scanner to get all codes and additional info about the codes and the sensors they’re related to. It can save a lot of time!